Dark Eldar Tactics: Screening

OldChiZOne here again, talking about a tactic that will make or break your games.

Looking through the dark eldar codex, it is apparent that a Dark Eldar army can be built as a medium ranged firefight army. The problem then arises, how do you keep the enemy army from mass assaulting your shooting units or melta gunning your vehicles to the ground? The answer: Screening units.

There are three different screening units that I will talk about in this article, beasts, hellions, and reavers.

Beasts: In a screening format, I recommend taking minimum of 3 beast masters and 6 razor wing flocks for a tiny point cost of 138 points. The advantages this unit has over the other two is that it will be much more durable and much better in counter charging close combat threats. The disadvantages is, as there are no models yet we do not know how tall they will be or whether or not razorwings will be on flying bases. This is important due to whether or not they will be able to obscure vehicles behind. Also moving them up with your vehicles may be rather tricky, considering that beasts will have to run in order to screen your vehicles.

Although more pricey, less durable, and less potent in the assault, hellions still make great screening units due to the fact that they can still pump out shots with their shard carbines. They move as fast as your vehicles which makes them easy to use.

Most menuveravable of all of the screening units due to it's assault and turboboost moves. It is also the most expensive and fragile. They also have very little close combat potential. They are the only unit that has access to tank busting weapons though.

Out of these three units I believe that each is viable to screen. However, they each excel depending on how close to the enemy they are. Beasts excel at being very close, hellion excel where they can pump out some shots, and reavers excel at longer ranges.

Screening: It's uses

Screening, in nearly all aspects of the game, is extremely helpful. It makes your vehicles more survivable by creating cover. It creates space in which deep striking units can't land. And above all it makes nearly every unit holding a short ranged gun quake with fear.

Specific uses:

Units: Beasts: 3x beastmasters with 6x razorwing flocks 138pts
4x trueborn, 4x blasters, Venom with extra SC and nightfield 178pts
5x warriors, 1x blaster, venom with extra SC and nightfield 145 pts

This type of setup will work wonders against armies that rely on melta guns and multimeltas. If you can fill the 5 inches in front of the venoms with the footprint of the beasts, the enemy won't be able to get in range with his melta guns, and will not be able to get in "melta range" with his multi meltas. This setup also can be completely self sufficient. You have 5 blasters to blow up tanks with, 24 splinter cannon shots to weaken squads, and close combat unit to take charges that the vehicles would normally take. All the while, you have a 33 wound unit that obscures the vehicles behind, making them twice as durable. Correct, blast templates will hurt, but that's why you have proper target selection right? ^^

Why it's important for dark eldar:

Screening is important for everyone, however it is especially important for dark eldar. Dark eldar have the most expensive/fragile transports in the game. This is for balence purposes, seeing that what is inside of those transports is usually much more potent than other races. However, once you begin to nullify how fragile the transports are, you can gain a massive advantage.

Well that's it. Over Christmas break I may have some time to actually start building my army so expect some non-hypothetical stuff in the near future. Leave concerns and comments like usual, so that I can shoot you all down with my vicious rhetoric.


Lordboximus said...

FYI...helions do not have shard carbines...

OldChiZOne said...

*splinter pods*

Dinobobicus said...

Big deal keeping multi-meltas out of melta range. When you are AV 10 in the front they don't need two dice to break you. Screening plus night shields work to keep meltas out of firing range at ALL, but you really need to be bringing those multimeltas down before they get anywhere near you.

And then hope that they don't kill you with massed bolter fire instead.

OldChiZOne said...

Best part about Beasts and hellions is that if they are within melta/bolter/multi melta range, you are within charge range. Not only that, but being screened gives you a cover save.

Cannonfodder said...

at 60 points per transport I would rather use my raiders to shield my beasts from shooting. :)

OldChiZOne said...

So you'd rather leave your deadly/fragile units to walk across the battlefield? ;)

Cannonfodder said...

jepp-- anytime. Compared to a Venom they are much more likey to absorb the fire as long as you keep them in cover and have a paintoken handy.

OldChiZOne said...

Exactly... isn't that what I am saying and what you contradicted? o_O

kelsey said...

A foot unit will NOT obscure a flying ship.

OldChiZOne said...

Who says beasts are a foot unit? Razorwings very well could be on flying bases as would the beast masters. Hellions most definitely are tall enough.

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